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The History List

Original 1917 WWI recruiting poster — "I Want You" — Framed

$995.00

Updated April 6: This same poster is up for auction now at Heritage Auctions at a starting price of $6,250, including buyer's premium. The one they have appears to be like new, with no sign of use. It's mounted on linen and is not framed. The one I’m offering is more than $5,000 less and comes framed with UV-protecting acrylic so that it stays looking great.

— Lee Wright | Founder


Surely one of the most famous posters ever created and excited to be able to offer it.

I've framed it in a white metal frame with museum-grade, non-glare acrylic that offers UV-protection so the colors will remain vibrant for decades upon decade.

We've taken these pictures without the acrylic in order to see the detail in the print.

— Lee Wright | Founder

. . . 

Recruiting poster with the famous phrase "I want you for U. S. Army" shows Uncle Sam pointing his finger at the viewer in order to recruit soldiers for The Great War, later called World War I.

The printed phrase "Nearest recruiting station" has a blank space below to add the address for enlisting.

Dry mounted on lightweight board, some bubbling the lower left-hand side, but not very noticeable.

Framed in a metal frame with a museum-grade, non-glare acrylic that offers UV-protection.

Size: 30" x 40"

Shipping: $75. Will be shipped via UPS. Please allow one week shipping. (The big factor driving the shipping cost is the size, and $75 doesn't even completely cover the UPS charge.) 

The story behind this iconic recruitment poster

Painted by noted U.S. illustrator James Montgomery Flagg, the image first appeared on the cover of the July 6, 1916, issue of Leslie’s Weekly magazine with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The U.S. would not declare war on Germany until April of the next year, but the storm signals were clear. The image was later adapted by the U.S. Army for the poster with the new, unforgettable call to action. More than 4 million copies of it were printed between 1917 and 1918.

“Uncle Sam” may have been Sam Wilson, known as Uncle Sam, a meatpacker who stamped the initials “U.S.” on barrels of meat he sold to the Army in the War of 1812.

By the mid-19th century, Uncle Sam had taken on his classic look: long, lean, goateed and wearing a patriotic getup, as Thomas Nast drew him in 1877.

Artist Alfred Leete drew an image of British war hero Lord Kitchener wagging his finger to draw recruits in 1914; it was a memorable success.

U.S. illustrator Flagg used Leete’s design as the basis for his poster. And he used his own visage as the model for his bushy-eyebrowed take on Uncle Sam.

Source: Time Magazine

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